In case you were wondering …

If anyone actually reads these reports they may have noticed a gap between the Mayday event and the rally in support of SHAC on 28 November. There were rallies and protests in Melbourne in this period,  some of which can be found by following these links:

Environmentalists picket the office of  Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, 7 May:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/ferguson7may-engagemedia.avi/view

and again on 16 December:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/16dec08-ferguson.avi/view

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Speakout at Federation Square in support of  October 15 arrestees in NZ/Aotearoa:

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Three extracts from rally in support of Lex Wotton, 1 November:

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Another rally in support of Lex Wotton, 7 November:

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Walk against Warming, 15 November:

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Walk against Woodchips, Melbourne stopover, 27 November:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/woodchips_transcoded.avi/view

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Protests at BHP Billiton AGM , 27 November:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/bhp-roxstop_transcoded.avi/view

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Melbourne has also seen protests at the police killing of Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Athens, for example on 13 December:

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And FairWear supporters gave their annual Sweatfree carol “service” outside the Brunswick Street outlet of fashion retailer RICH on 19 December:

http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/pc/videos/carols-19dec08-engage.avi/view

S.H.A.C. at Victorian Supreme Court

SHAC supportes outside Supreme Court

SHAC supporters outside Supreme Court

In response to the latest actions by the authorities at Melbourne University supporters of SHAC rallied at the Victorian Supreme Court for the hearing of an application by the University to have the squatters evicted.
Here is the message from SHAC:
So on Thursday the occupiers of 272-278 Faraday St got served with notice
that the University has gone to the supreme court to ‘recover the land’ at
272-278 Faraday St under order 53 . The hearing will take place on monday
morning.
Please come to a protest out the front of the court from 9.30 am and then
if you want come into the court for the hearing which will start at 10.30
am.
Bring banners, placards and colour. Also if the feeling takes you please
dress up in drag.

210 William St in the city

SHAC will be seeking an adjournment of this hearing so there is a chance
it will be delayed. The protest will go ahead regardless.

The turnout was good, with a reasonable attendance also of police.  The protest began at 9.30 but quite a few arrived just for the hearing, at 10.30.  At time of writing there is no word of the outcome, but more will doubtless be posted to the SHAC blog shortly: http://shacmelbourne.blogspot.com/

rent-is-theft1

Brown Mountain logging protests – 2 December 2008

On the way back from the ABCC rally there was time to catch an unusual protest action at Parliament House – a group of people, many in suits and semi-formal attire, standing in rows on the steps all simultaneously ringing Premier Brumby  to call for an end to the logging of old-growth forest in East Gippsland.

The suits in action

The suits in action

This was actually a follow-up to a similar action last month – the following callout appeared on eco-shout (http://www.eco-shout.org/):
Thanks to all those who made the effort to get to the ‘suits action’ earlier this month at Parliament House in support of Brown Mountain. The suits action will be happening again when Parliament goes back on 2nd December. That’s next Tuesday. The spectacle of 90 people making calls to Brumby’s office at lunch time on the steps did not go unnoticed by the Ministers and Premier. Last time we had 90 people, this time we’re planning for 200. They need to know this issue is not going to go away. The stand of old growth forest is still being logged and there are 2 more adjoining planned for clearfelling this season. So – we are currently working to get the government to place a moratorium on these remaining two stands of old growth and have them included in the reserve system just across the track. To take part be on the steps of Parliament House Melbourne at 12.30pm with yout mobile. Environment East Gippsland.

For background, and images of what is at stake, visit:

http://www.eastgippsland.net.au/articles/BrownMountain2008/index.html

Before the phones came out ...

Before the phones came out ...

Rally against the ABCC – 2 December 2008

Outside 553 St Kilda Road

Outside 553 St Kilda Road

Celebrating the dropping of charges against Noel Washington and voicing their demands for the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, thousands of unionists and supporters rallied yesterday outside the ABCC headquarters in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Before the dropping of charges the plan had been to march on the court, and if the turnout at this victory rally is anything to go by, that would have been a mighty show of workers’ anger. As it was, a crowd of somewhere around 5000  heard speakers including Jeff Lawrence, Secretary of the ACTU, Brian Boyd, Secretary of the VTHC, Dave Noonan, National Secretary of the CFMEU Construction Division, Marcus Clayton, defence lawyer from Slater & Gordon, Dean Mighell, Victorian Secretary of the CEPU-ETU, Garry Robb, Secretary of the Metals Division of the  AMWU, Kevin Bracken,  Victorian Secretary of the MUA, Father Bob McGuire, Ann Taylor, Vice-president of the AEU, and Michele O’Neil, Secretary of the TCFUA, Martin Kingham of the CFMEU, and last but certainly not least, Noel Washington himself. All were united in calling on the Rudd government to honour its election promises and scrap the Commission and its discriminatory laws.

There were reports of the rally in the mainstream media:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/union-rally-calls-for-abcc-scrapping-20081202-6p2l.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/02/2435305.htm

and on the Trades Hall website:

http://www.vthc.org.au/resources/cover-story-archives/campaign-against-abcc-continues/index.cfm

"Solidarity for ever" - the choir warming up the crowd

Michele O'Neil of the TCFUA

Michele O'Neil

Martin Kingham

Martin Kingham

One of the flags in the crowd

One of the flags in the crowd

- and one of the banners.

- and one of the banners.

The man of the day - Noel Washington

The man of the day - Noel Washington

Chants at the end - "The workers united ..."

Chants at the end - "The workers united..."